Military solution would have solved PoK issue: IAF chief

Military solution would have solved PoK issue: IAF chief

Military solution would have solved PoK issue: IAF chief

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Thursday said Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) would have come under India had the country opted for a military solution.

“When a military solution was in sight, taking moral high ground, we went to the United Nations for a peaceful solution to this problem. The problem still continues. PoK remains a thorn in our flesh even today,” the IAF chief said here in a seminar.

In the military circle, there is a long-standing opinion that India did not go the whole hog in getting PoK back from Pakistan. Raha’s remarks, which echo the view, came a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about PoK and the Balochistan province from the Red Fort during his Independence Day address.

“In 1947, raiders supported by the military and government across the border tried to overrun Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian army on the ground did not have enough boots. The IAF’s transport wing came to their help. The raider advance was stopped. When we went to the UN for a peaceful solution, it was out of moral high ground. But the problem still continues,” said Raha, who is India’s senior most incumbent military officer.

Raha’s reference was to the early days of Independence when Maharaja Hari Singh’s government in Jammu and Kashmir faced a rebellion and sought India’s assistance to tide over the crisis. India refused to help him unless he signed the instrument of accession.
After he signed on the dotted lines, the Indian Army was sent to Kashmir to recapture the area held by the rebels. Pakistan also intervened, ensuing a war that led to the creation of the Line of Control.

Raha said India did not follow a ‘pragmatic approach’ to the security needs. “We have been governed by high ideals and we really did not follow a very pragmatic approach, to my mind, to the security needs,” he said.

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